Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:32:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Winning the “War for Talent” in the Professional Services Industry https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-services-talent/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-services-talent/#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:32:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1216 Keeping and attracting hot talent is a challenge in the professional services industry The professional services industry is highly dependent upon people as its biggest revenue driver, making it crucial for firms to retain and nurture their high performers and high-potential employees. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for professional services HR leaders to do so. […]

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Keeping and attracting hot talent is a challenge in the professional services industry

professional services talentThe professional services industry is highly dependent upon people as its biggest revenue driver, making it crucial for firms to retain and nurture their high performers and high-potential employees. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for professional services HR leaders to do so. But with cash flow, project staffing, and customer satisfaction on the line, HR leaders must continue finding ways to put their own people first to boost engagement, productivity, and retention.  This blog post will help you to start winning the war for talent.

Consider these statistics: The industry currently employs more than nine million Americans and has less than a 2.8% unemployment rate, yet attrition has risen to 12.9%—the highest it’s been since the Great Recession. It’s a candidate-driven market with fierce competition.

Here are several key initiatives professional services HR leaders should consider implementing to help improve the employee experience (and, therefore, the bottom line).

Ongoing Training Drives Engagement

People are the primary assets for professional business firms, and they want to know their employers are invested in them. As training and development programs continue to improve and become more available and intuitive, spending has jumped, hitting the highest growth rate in nearly a decade in 2015. And it’s not surprising, considering that effective training is a proven driver of engagement and satisfaction, combating workplace boredom, and contributing to an increased overall sense of value. Employee development is also particularly beneficial for professional services firms, who can then leverage the increased aptitudes and skill sets of individual employees.

Leadership Planning to Keep A-Players on the Team

While employees leave companies for a variety of reasons, it’s often due to the desire to move up—either in responsibility or in salary. Increases of more than 10% are not uncommon when changing jobs, compared with an overall average of just 0.8% of real hourly earnings increases from June 2016 to June 2017. Some commentators even suggest employees change jobs every two years to maximize long-term salary growth.

The best way to combat this tendency is for professional services HR leaders to commit to transparent leadership development within their firms. Creating a proactive, executable strategy for professional growth and career advancement within the organization encourages retention by outlining development opportunities while decreasing the risks of talent gaps.

Measure Employee Satisfaction

Considering the extremely high cost of replacing even a single valuable employee, it’s also imperative for HR leaders in professional services to keep an active pulse on employee sentiment, to monitor red flags and pinpoint flight risks before it’s too late.

Sophisticated survey technologies utilize advanced natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning algorithms to uncover employee sentiment in real time. By interpreting a combination of quantitative and open-ended survey responses, these solutions can accurately pinpoint the topics most important to employees and decipher their true feelings. Specific, data-based, actionable insights are invaluable for improving satisfaction, giving professional services HR leaders a real edge when it comes to improving retention and performance.

By incorporating these initiatives and solutions, HR leaders are supported in their strategic efforts to combat industry pressure and improve their organization’s key performance indicators KPIs. Professional services firms face unusual challenges, but these tools and strategies can help nurture high achievers, develop future leaders, and boost engagement and retention, all while streamlining payroll and HR intricacies and generating accurate visibility into compliance, staffing, and analytics.

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Hit a Home Run with Streamlined Onboarding https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hit-a-home-run-with-streamlined-onboarding/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hit-a-home-run-with-streamlined-onboarding/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2013 05:28:59 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=149 We all know who the Texas Rangers are, right?! They’re the two-time American League Champion baseball team, of course. They’ve also had some very talented Hall of Fame players such as their current president and CEO, Nolan Ryan. But the superstars I want to share with you today aren’t on the field. They’re in the […]

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We all know who the Texas Rangers are, right?! They’re the two-time American League Champion baseball team, of course. They’ve also had some very talented Hall of Fame players such as their current president and CEO, Nolan Ryan. But the superstars I want to share with you today aren’t on the field. They’re in the human resources department.

Hit A Homerun with Streamlined Onboarding

The Texas Rangers HR team has the task of hiring over 1,800 employees for every new baseball season. These are the security, ticket office, parking, grounds crew, etc. positions that are needed during the height of baseball season. I can totally empathize with this annual event from my theme park days. You need to hire a lot of people in a short span of time. Job requisitions can’t just “stay open”. And there’s no such thing as sacrificing quality when it comes to talent.

The Rangers’ Machelle Noel realized something needed to be done to streamline the process. She admitted the disorganization was sending the wrong impression to candidates. So Noel and her team decided to implement a recruitment solution to help with the process. The results were huge.

Online application processing saved big money. Prior to implementation, the Rangers conducted job fairs to find candidates. Now, candidates apply online. Automating the application        process took the guesswork out of    hoping they received enough applications. This saved them at least $35,000 in recruiting expenses.

The application process became easier. While the Rangers still conduct a mass interview and screening day, now they schedule the interviews in advance. Candidates are happy because  they don’t have to sit around all day  waiting for an interview. The Rangers are happy because they can manage labor costs for interviewing personnel.

Rehires were processed quickly and efficiently.A major source of seasonal employees for the Rangers are people who worked the prior season. If an employee does good work, they’re invited back. The Rangers created an    automated invitation system to bring back great people from the previous season.

Candidates check on their own status. When you’re trying to hire 1,800 people, you can’t call everyone back (unfortunately). But you can make sure their questions are answered. The Rangers configured their system so    candidates could check their status at any time. A win-win for all.

Automating their recruiting system allowed the Texas Rangers to shift the focus of the application process from the recruiter to the candidate. The result? The Rangers decreased their time-to-hire metric by 70%. And they are realizing a recurring, annual labor cost savings of $20,000. All while improving the candidate experience. That’s pretty amazing!

But that’s not all. Sure, the talent acquisition system helped get their seasonal workforce hired. But we all know there’s more to the process than just hiring. In fact, the orientation paperwork for 1,800 people was ginormous. Saving paper in the recruiting process meant nothing if the Rangers didn’t also address what happened during orientation.

Mercedes Riley with the Rangers explained the challenge. “All of the employee forms were paper. Everything was manually entered. It could take up to 6 weeks to get all the data into the system.” If you’ve ever been involved in one of these mass hiring situations you know one of the biggest frustrations can be deciphering an employee’s handwriting. Been there, done that.

In addition, the Rangers implemented an onboarding solution. Not only did it process paperwork faster but it created efficiencies when it came to verifying documentation.

For example, Riley shared that during their customer service training session for all seasonal employees, they used the time to complete I-9 documentation. They used the computers at each one of their ballpark ticket office windows – about 17 stations total – to process the verifications. [Side note: this is a brilliant use of resources.] But here’s the really incredible part – they processed 300 I-9s in 90 minutes. Yep, that’s not a typo. 90 minutes.

They also used their onboarding system for all of those other requests necessary when a new hire starts. Stuff like office space, phone needs, name badges, business cards, uniforms, keys, etc. Can you imagine the volume for 1,800 new hires? Every year? Automating these requests made so much sense. Again, all about an improved experience for new hires and reduced frustration for the onboarding team. And it saved money.

Riley said that employees immediately saw the benefits of an electronic onboarding system as well. “Employees were able to do the majority of their paperwork while in the comfort of their own home. For example, it made employee selections like direct deposit more efficient. Employees were able to complete the authorization paperwork at home where they have all the information needed to sign up.”

I want to thank the Texas Rangers for sharing with me their story and congratulate them on receiving one of Ultimate Software’s Innovation Awards for their recruiting and onboarding achievements. Very well deserved.

 

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